Hospital Garden At The 13th Hour
As the sun strikes the bell tower,
until you see the ice in the central fountain,
they almost make you think its Spring,
those berries that look like white buds
in their net of brown whippet branches.
–Red Haircrow, 20 December 2011
Augustes Viktoria Klinikum, Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany, my home for a couple of weeks.
Being in the hospital is never a great joy, in most instances, but especially at holiday times one can seem even more alone. Since I was in the scheduled surgeries area, most people and doctors opt to have operations take place after the holidays are complete or some weeks before, so patients can be at home with family.
As I have no family in Berlin, that wasn’t a consideration, and my operation was deemed priority after a routine check-up earlier in a month discovered a serious condition that needed to be taken care of asap.
The hallways were quiet in a different way, as only few people ghosted the halls, so one evening when a children’s choir came to sing carols, it was so nice to lay in bed and listen. I am non-Christian and don’t celebrate Christmas, but I know the songs “O Tannenbaum” and “Stille Nacht”, among others, as I wrote about before in another post.
We were given a plate of chocolates and traditional cookies, which was a welcome additional to our light evening meal. I thought of the past Christmases or holidays I’d shared with friends, such as the time I dropped the goose and made a quite horrible mess of the kitchen before we had dinner, and then this one where I was able to spend a day with a couple of friends and their young sons.
Now I’m recuperating and recovering yet again, as I wasn’t suppose to be out, especially making so long a trip through Berlin in cool, wet weather. The pain factor is up again today, but it was so nice to have gentle chit-chat and the laughter of children around me for a change, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Note: After searching the web for the name of the white berried bushes that are commonly seen through Germany, especially notable in winter, I finally found it…and it was quite a simple term after all: Snowberry. Thank you to the website, Blooming Writer: Gardening in Nova Scotia.
“Thought of as a common shrub by many, the snowberry, or Symphoricarpus albus, is one of my favourite old-faithful shrubs, especially once festooned with its white berries.”
Other views from my hospital window:
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